Direction of season now up for grabs. - Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Nene had a poor showing in his return to Denver with 7 points and 4 rebounds, but he gets the last laugh as his team comes out with a big win over the Nuggets 112-108. The Wizards average just 90.9 points per game and they dismantled the Nuggets defense tonight. And defense is mainly about effort.
On this special Friday night game - we're going to bring you a running diary recap ... let's do it!
-The "exciting" rookie I talked about in my video preview hits the first shot of the game - a wide open three in the corner as the Nuggets fail to rotate after giving up an offensive rebound and getting discombobulated on defense. 3-0 Wizards.
-Bad rotation on defense for the Nuggets again ... Martell Webster makes them pay with another three (wide open) and it's 6-0 Wiz.
-4:03 and JaVale McGee checks in ... 13-11 Wiz after Nene goes 1-2 at the foul line. Let's go on #JaValeWatch for the next few minutes ...
--McGee gets a pass at the foul line and shuffles the ball to Lawson - Ty gets to the rim and scores an easy one. 15-15 and Andre Miller checks in.
-Corey Brewer's wheels once again make a difference in the speed of the game. He goes coast-to-coast for a layup, after a steal, and two possessions later he strips Kevin Seraphin at the foul line and puts in a tough layup over Jordan Crawford and Seraphin ... 19-15 Nuggets.
--#JaValeWatch ... McGee swats Jan Vesely's hook shot attempt at the baseline. Still 19-15 Nuggets.
--Chandler blocks Vesely (block party on him) and feeds McGee who misses the hard layup, Iggy feeds him again, and he is fouled. McGee misses both free throws ... 19-17 Nuggs.
--McGee commits a foul on the other end on John Wall, he'll shoot free throws as Nuggs are in the penalty. Tie game at 19-19.
End of quarter: 19-19. The Nuggets are playing sloppy basketball (4 turnovers) and the energy of the game is starting to pick up, but Denver needs to kick it into another gear. Can they wear-and-tear the Wiz into a blowout? Wiz are pretty decent -- I've watched a lot of their games this season and Wall and Nene (who haven't played a lot) will help.
-10:22 mark and Andre Miller hits a jumper - too bad the Nuggets can't put him in a fountain of youth ... he'd start for this team, but Karl might play him 48 minutes a night if he were 26 years-old instead of 36 ... 23-23.
-We see odd lineups in the second quarter ... right now it's Miller, Brewer, Gallo, Chandler, and Faried. I actually like this lineup. Chandler gets an assist as he feeds Brewer in the corner in transition and he nails a three ... 30-27 Nuggets. Hashtag ... small ball?
-McGee gets his first bucket on ... a lob from Brewer ... what else! 48-45 Denver. Nice one handed throw down, but I'd love to see JaVale go two handed ... like he did on Lawson's missed layup there before the half ... McGee with a putback dunk to make it 50-45 Nuggets.
End of the 2nd: 50-45 Denver. Denver wins the quarter 31-26 and the home team only commits 1 turnover in the quarter for a total of 5 in the half. Those are winning numbers. Let's see how the third quarter goes ...
-This just happened ...
Thank you Lawson & Faried!
-Ty Lawson is going bonkers from three point land this quarter! He is 4-5 from deep on the night now ... and has 23 points on the night (21 points in the quarter), 83-73 Nuggets.
-Lawson ends the quarter with a dunk! He scored 23 points in the third ...
Lawson with a dunk to end his 23 point barrage.
End of quarter: 87-80 Nuggets. The Nuggets win the quarter 37-35, but they are giving up way too many points and need to put more cushion between themselves and the Wiz.
-The Nuggets spoil they dinner by eating dessert first ... their 87-80 lead has been erased with a Wizards 10-0 run to open the final stint. Another fourth quarter game against a bad (record wise) team. The Wiz are 1-16 on the road this season, but are better with Nene and John Wall, but not that much better ... right?
-Karl has Miller, Brewer, Chandler, Gallo, and McGee in the game ... Gallo and Brewer have had very good games tonight ... will the offense funnel through them? Gallo gets fouled and Brewer misses a jumper on the first possession together and Miller hits a jumper on the next possession. Denver forces a 24 second violation ... starting to get more into the game, the Nuggets are (Yoda voice).
-6:49 mark and it's 96-91 Wizards heading to a timeout ... Chandler just airmailed a 2-on-1 fastbreak over Brewer's head and out of bounds. Been an odd night for Denver. The offense had played pretty good, but the focus on defense and effort have been suspect and the overall focus has been lacking too ...
-Out of the timeout and Karl has taken McGee and Chandler out for Faried and Iguodala. Lawson, hottest man on the team tonight, remains on the bench, for now. We're getting towards "sweat it" time. Karl going to play small it looks like ... Lawson is back in with 4:25 to play, but the Wiz bigs have been killin' it. Denver down 100-95 ... Karl put Koufos back in the game for Faried ...
-Lawson stays hot as he hits his first shot of the quarter ... 102-97 as Seraphin hits a jump hook.
-3:10 to play ... 102-99 and we'll be seeing if Washington tries to copy Portland's lead of dumping the ball into the post. Seraphin is being guarded by Koufos and Nene is being guarded by Nene. Denver is looking to double team and it gets them out of rotation and Iggy has to foul Trevor Ariza out near the three point line. Timeout Washington or TV timeout ...
-It doesn't look like the big shots will fall tonight ... Gallo bricks a long jumper and it's still 104-99 Wizards with Iggy at the foul line on a fastbreak. Iggy hits both freebies to get his first points of the night and it's 104-101. Gallo misses a big three that would have tied it as the Nuggets were flying around on defense and Miller is at the foul line as he grabbed a big offensive board ... he misses the first free throw - he has been old reliable from the line all season. Damn. Two point game now ... 104-102 (Miller was 1-2).
-Biggest defensive play of the game and the Nuggets fail to rebound an Ariza misfire from the corner ... Seraphin (18 points thus far) is there to clean it up and it's 108-104 Wiz with :28 ticks left. Looks like a horrific loss is about to occur ...
-Miller sinks a big runner in traffic and gets fouled by Nene ... And-1 attempt and perhaps a chance for the Nuggets to save their own bacon ... Miller promptly bricks the foul shot ... 12 misses (19-31) at the expensive throws for the Nuggets this evening. Blah!
-109-108 with :13 seconds to play ... Miller gets a layup after nothing opens up on the perimeter to keep things interesting. Nuggets are going to need a three-point shot attempt at some point ... most likely. Has to be Lawson tonight right? Guy is on fire.
-Beal opens things up as he misses his first foul shot ... makes the second. Could we see overtime again for the second time in as many games at Pepsi Center? Only :08 ticks remain ... who takes the shot? Looks like Miller will have the ball (decision man) as Karl talking to him in huddle.
-Lawson gets the ball and gets STUFFED hard going to the rim ... defense collapsed on him, he tried to draw contact, and ...
End of quarter: 112-108 Wizards win it. Wizards destroy the Nuggets in the quarter 32-21.
The wrap up:
The rookie Bradley Beal lead the Wizards with 23 points and had his way with Iguodala. Kevin Seraphin came off the bench and added 18 points of his own and 7 rebounds.
Well, the Wizards are not as bad as their record indicates with John Wall back in the lineup and Nene around on a consistent basis, but they are still not a playoff team. Washington gets their second road win of the season. Yep, a loss to the now 8 win Wizards who are now 2-16 on the road.
Lawson had 29 points and it doesn't look good when he gets real hot as Denver lost 108-104 back on Dec. 5th to the Atlanta Hawks when Ty got 32 points.
Absolutely no excuses for this loss tonight. The Nuggets defense was awful as they allowed 35 points and 32 points to the Wiz in the third and fourth quarters. Denver's free throw shooting once again killed them. Iguodala (2-6), Brewer (1-4), and Miller (1-3) combined to go just 4-13 from the charity stripe. You can't have your key wing players shooting that poorly.
This is a horrific loss and one that there is no excuse for.
Opposition's take: Bullets Forever
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